Animal #13 — River Otter

lutra canadensis

July 19, 1982 — 2:00 pm

Oneida County, Wisconsin — Rainbow Flowage

Dave Pearson and I did some exploring while our wives hung around my parents’ house. We saw this otter swimming approximately 50 yards offshore in the main part of the lake. It dove under, remained out of view for about three minutes, reappeared for a short time, then dove again. We didn’t see it again for about 10 minutes. It then waded onto a mudflat along the shore of a bay, about 20 yards from where we stood. It was eating a 10-inch fish and looking about. It then dove into the water, swam further into the bay, and disappeared.

Twelve years later, in 1994, I happened upon an adult Otter with two pups on the other side of the Flowage. I stood and watched them for half an hour from about 30 yards away. Other than the initial look at me (top photo), they paid no attention to me whatsoever. I only left when they did — they took a swim out across the bay.

The following two photos were taken in October, 2009 in the Black River north of Ironwood, Michigan.



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